24-Hour Bikepacking Within Reach of Los Angeles

Gallery Mode

Photographer

Jordan Haggard Clark

Camera

Sony a7 II

Film

NA

Back to article
Fallback
Fallback

24-Hour Bikepacking Within Reach of Los Angeles

A world of adventure awaits just miles from downtown, if you know where to look... and own a bikepacking setup

24-Hour Bikepacking Within Reach of Los Angeles

Author

Guest Contributor

Photographer

Jordan Haggard Clark

Camera

Sony a7 II

Film

NA

https://www.fieldmag.com/articles/los-angeles-mountain-bike-camping

Jordan Clark Haggard is a Los Angeles-based photographer and avid cyclist. Follow him on Instagram

The hills around the Los Angeles Basin have transformed from a dry-dead brown to a vibrant rainbow after a very wet winter. In addition to bringing life back after seven years of drought, the rain has washed everything clean and created the most excellent tacky trail conditions. With the green in our eyes and the weekend upon us a few friends and I knew we should take a break from the city and make our way into the mountains.  

After much debate on route and itinerary it was decided we would ride Backbone Trail to its end, descend down to the beach and lay our heads in the dirt at Leo Carrillo State Park

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-2

"Even in Los Angeles, given just 24 hours, there’s plenty of adventure to be found within arms reach."

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-25

At 3pm on a Saturday afternoon we loaded our bikes with camping gear and drove north to the trailhead. After 20 miles of winding single track we reached the end of Backbone as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. After a moment of soaking in the view we charged six miles down Yerba Buena Rd. to the Pacific Coast Highway and then a mile and half south, to the entrance of Leo Carrillo in the dark.

After paying our $10 per cyclist due we made our way to the designated Hike In/Bike In Campsite. We dropped two bundles of firewood near the pit and a six pack of beer on the picnic table only to discover there was already someone occupying the site.

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-17

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-12
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-10

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-8
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-3

Luckily, as I peered through the dark I saw a friend from Santa Cruz Bicycles, Ian Stowe, was standing just a few feet away. Turns out Ian was on the first leg of a week long surf/bike trip down the coast of California. The three of us were thrilled to talk to Ian about the 70 miles of riding and two hours of surfing he had done earlier that day. 

As the clock neared midnight we all crawled into our sleeping bags. Seven hours later we woke, drank some coffee, repacked the bikes, said good bye to Ian, and worked our way back to where we had started. Even in L.A., given just 24 hours, there’s plenty of adventure to be found within arms reach.

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-22

Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-26
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-21
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-1
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-24
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-19
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-15
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-14
Jordan-Clark-Haggard-LA-escape-13
Fallback

Related articles

Escaping Burnout on a 10-Day Bike Tour in the Julian Alps
How a 10-Day Bikepacking Trip in the Julian Alps Cured Burnout

19 film photos show two close friends trading city life for mountain huts, muddy trails, and gravel roads in the farthest reaches of Slovenia

A Lightweight Guide to Bikepacking the UK's Route Beer Ramble
A Lightweight Guide to Impromptu Bikepacking Across the UK

20 strangers take on 200km across the English countryside, by bike and in pursuit of beer

Video: Bikepacking in Rugged Central Idaho with Coal and Swift Industries
Why You Should—or Maybe Shouldn't—Bikepack in Rugged Central Idaho

This short video captures an ambitious 4-day backcountry trip to celebrate adventure, the summer solstice, and learning by doing

Wild Weekend Bikepacking in Death Valley National Park
Brutal Weekend Bikepacking in Death Valley National Park

Learning the true meaning of Murphy's Law over 52 miles of prime desert washboards

Across the California Desert in 30 Hours
Video: 30 Hours in the California Desert

Filmmaker Brian Vernor captures a beautiful and brutal bike trip spanning 192 miles and 24k vertical feet of desert terrain on 16mm and Super 8 film

Delaware Water Gap Bikepacking, Just Outside of New York City
DIY Bikepacking up the Delaware River, Just Outside New York City

Two first-time bike campers escape city life to find peace, quiet, and adventure in rural Pennsylvania

More articles
Fallback
Fallback